Nearly 200 guests joined in, many from around the world, for LEH's first ever Virtual Alumnae Reunion on Saturday 3 October.
The oldest alumnae who paid a virtual visit to the school was 91-years-old, from the Class of 1947, while the youngest was one of the most recent joiners – aged just 18 - from the Class of 2020. Others joined online from Hong Kong, Singapore, South Africa, Canada, USA, Australia, Belgium, Germany and France. Please click here
to visit the Virtual Alumnae Reunion page.
83-year-old Trish White from the Class of 1955 said: "Today’s Virtual Reunion was a great occasion and was very successful. It was so lovely for me to see quite a few of my year and it was great that we had some overseas visitors. Thank you all so much: the event meant a lot to me and I am sure that many other Alumnae felt the same."
Visitors were greeted with a video address from Head Mistress Heather Hanbury, who told them: “A very warm welcome to this very strange Virtual Alumnae Reunion. It is sad that I don’t have you here with me in school today.”
She went on to talk about how touched and inspired she, and the whole school community, had been by the hard work and commitment demonstrated by our alumnae on the frontline during lock down and beyond in our fight against Covid 19.
She added: “Our relationship with you, our alumnae, is a very special one… It’s a two way street. You give a great deal of support to us and I hope that through our Emerging Talent Awards, mentoring scheme and networking events, that you all feel that you benefit from your continued relationship and ongoing communications from us.”
Then there was a chance for school friends and contemporaries from across the years to catch up in person, with a series of 12 video chat rooms. Some of the rooms were dedicated to the main reunion groups celebrating key anniversaries from the Class of 1955 – now aged 84 and marking 65 years since they left LEH, to the Class of 2000, who are now aged 38 and graduated 20 years ago. Other chat rooms, hosted get-togethers of LEH alumnae who’d attended during a particular decade.
The Class of 1970, who were celebrating 50 years since leaving LEH, chatted away for over two hours, with former head girl Liz Cheyne, Elizabeth Newby (LEH 1963-1970) as was, stepping up to chair the conversation between 18 former class mates, to allow everyone a chance to speak for a few minutes about their memories of school and what they have been doing since.
Juliet Grimm, LEH 1960-1970, said: “We were all delighted to participate yesterday and are going to keep in touch. As someone pointed out it was in fact thanks to COVID that we were all together virtually. Had the reunion gone ahead as planned at the school many of those present on Saturday would not have been there so ironically it was a blessing in disguise for us. We have all agreed to do a zoom again in the New Year. “
Entertainment was provided, as ever, by some of the school’s most gifted pupils – four of the current music scholars performed show tunes and classical pieces, and two L6 students gave thought-provoking research presentations, one with a biomedical theme and the other concentrating on neuropsychology.
Plus, for those who hadn’t stepped foot inside the school for years, there was a chance to take a look round and see how the current COVID restrictions are having an impact, as four of our Sixth Formers carried out a video guided tour of the classrooms and facilities, in PPE.
There were also two wonderfully nostalgic photo galleries – one showing images of the school Then and Now, and another with an eclectic selection of school snaps through the years – from school productions, overseas trips and sports teams, to VIP visits and pupils messing around.
There has been a wonderfully enthusiastic response from those who took part, many of whom were attending a reunion for the first time.
Sue Percival, Class of 1974, said: “Thank you very much for organising an excellent zoom meeting. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Heather Hanbury's address, the choir, musical performances, the virtual tour and of course the chat room. The chat room experience was most enriching and fascinating to hear about the lives of fellow LEH girls and their experiences and reminiscences of their school days.”
Caroline Goldie, Class of 1970, said: “I’ve just come out of a wonderful zoom meeting with our class of 1970 and wanted to thank you and your colleagues for so successfully organising the virtual reunion. It was a wonderful experience and so interesting to see the school again 10 years on. The facilities are really impressive, as are the students! Let’s hope our next reunion will be for real - perhaps in a couple of years when we all turn 70!”
Cecilia Treves, Class of 1990, added: “I very much enjoyed Saturday’s virtual reunion. The live video chat – which in our case went on for more than two hours! – was a particular highlight. It was great to connect with a small contingent of our cohort. As the first event of its kind that I have attended (my Cambridge college jettisoned plans for a reunion this year), I must say, given the challenges of juggling work and family commitments, it has proved to be a much more convenient format than a live event.”